Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Driven by dollars

All of the attention and revenue being generated by Saturday’s Kansas-Missouri football game should have been focused on Lawrence, not Kansas City.

November 21, 2007


Consider what should have been going on in Lawrence this week and would have been going on if it had not been for the insatiable desire of Kansas University Athletic Department officials for more money.

The historic Kansas-Missouri football game was scheduled to be played in Lawrence this year. At the time the schedules were worked out, no one had any idea the game would turn into one of the nation's top games of the season. Regardless, KU officials were willing to give up the traditional game and the home field advantage in order to make a few more bucks.

Coach Mark Mangino and a couple of players have said they don't mind the game being moved, but this isn't surprising inasmuch as Lew Perkins, the boss of KU athletics, wanted the game in Kansas City. What do you expect them to say? However, KU quarterback Todd Reesing did say it would have been nice to have played before a sellout crows in Memorial Stadium.

Guess who's really making the bucks? KU and Missouri both are said to have received a guarantee of $1 million, but consider the revenue for the Kansas City Chiefs or Jackson County or Kansas City, Mo., from a sell-out crowd of approximately 78,000, plus all concession revenues, parking fees and tax revenues. Added to this is the financial bonanza for Kansas City restaurants, bars, motels and retail shops that will cash in on the biggest shopping period of the year - the weekend after Thanksgiving.

National media attention is being focused on Kansas City and Arrowhead Stadium, attention that advertising dollars cannot buy.

All of this - the excitement of the game, the home field advantage, the thrill for KU players to play their final regular season game before a packed Memorial Stadium crowd, the revenues that local and area businesses would have enjoyed, local sales tax revenue and the national attention focused on Lawrence, Kansas and the University, with its beautiful campus and scenic stadium - has been handed over to Kansas City, purely for dollars and cents. It's nothing but a hard-nosed business deal for Kansas City.

There isn't much sense of loyalty among far too many at KU. KU officials have tried to imply studies about the economic losses Lawrence and Kansas will suffer really are not accurate or important. They suggest the substitution of four cupcake nonconference games in Memorial Stadium more than makes up for taking the Missouri game away from Lawrence.

Wonder what Columbia, Mo., residents and city officials will say next year when it is their turn to lose the MU-KU home game to Kansas City. What if it should turn out to be another season-ending game with national rankings and post-season bowl games riding on the outcome?

Perhaps someday, loyalty, year-in and year-out support, and true mutual respect and help will mean something, but such thinking is lacking today among many at KU.

It's all about money and trying to please, or make, friends in Kansas City.


nobody1793 10 years, 5 months ago

Just think of it as a way to screw over Columbia for next year!

LRT 10 years, 5 months ago

Why do the residents of Lawrence feel like Kansas University owes them this game? Again, Oklahoma and Texas have been playing in the Cotton Bowl for decades now. This rivalry has traditionally been of much more significance than the KU-MU game and yet the residents of those communities do not complain about the OU-UT game always being played at a neutral location.

In order to have continued success the KU football game must gain the attention of as many potential donors as possible. Yes, it all comes down to being about the money, but look at the budgets of the traditional football powerhouses.

onceinawhile 10 years, 5 months ago

Personally, I'm thankful that I won't have to put up with the massive amounts of people roaming the streets and partying after the game in Lawrence. It's mass chaos, and anyone who lives in east Lawrence can attest to that. Obviously, it's a popular game that has still managed to sell out, so what's the harm in having the game at a much larger stadium where more people can enjoy it?

OnlyTheOne 10 years, 5 months ago

Because LRT this isn't the Oklahoma Texas game this is KU/MU! That's what counts here and I'll bet you it counts just as much in Columbia. In KU versus MU nothing else matters!

KULOUVER 10 years, 5 months ago

Ku's athletic budget is next to last in the Big 12. Only Baylor is below us. Either acquire and spend the money or LOSE. In basketball seating and moving the game to Arrowhead, Lew Perkins had made the right decisions. This is a sour grapes editorial with no vision of future possibilities. Journal World you need another supply of crying towels.

bd 10 years, 5 months ago

Seems to me that arrowhead is in MO. some "HOME" GAME!!!!!!!!!!! I am sure they are wishing now that for the teams sake it would be in Lawrence!

FatTony 10 years, 5 months ago

I wonder if this person has been to Arrowhead recently? Retail shops earning my business just because I am going to the game in KCMO. There is no retail anywhere near the Stadium. Restaurants/Bars nope none there either. There is a giant parking lot that opens at 3. I will be tailgating in a fashion I otherwise could not in Lawrence since I am not privledged enough to have a parking pass to a lot that makes tailgating near the stadium a possibilty. So that means I will bring my own beer and my own food purchased in Lawrence to bring to the game. Grow up. If you want to talk about loyalty and tradition, this game used to be played in KC, it was only till Mizzou wanted to try and gain an advantage was the game moved back to campus. Its how they say they invented Homecoming. Financial Bonanza I think not. I don't have time to fight crowds at a freaking mall when I want to have a good time and go to a game. You are just a flat out idiot in thinking 78,000 will be shopping on the plaza before the game. Addionally the media attention focused on KC, no its focused on the two univeristies. People watching the game on TV will not say I like that there Arrowhead I heading to KC this winter, nor would they have said damn I've got to get myself to Lawrence KS. I'm sick of people saying and thinking that stores will be empty and that no one will be watching this game in Lawrence in bars and restaurants because they don't have tickets to the game. Ever think about that moron.

Thats_messed_up 10 years, 5 months ago

KU moved this game to Arrowhead to gain more exposure and hype for a toilet bowl game that is normally played between two crappy teams that nobody cares about. This was destined to be another half empty stadium watching another GaU 4th quarter collapse. Before KU changed the alcohol policy to encourage anyone who wanted to get wasted to come to the games just to get people in the seats, this would have been one of only 2 games per year (MU and KSU) to have more than half of the stadium full. As a true sign of the impending apocalypse KU and MU miraculously have put together good seasons that neither program could have foreseen and actually rendered the saying "this is what saturday's were made for" true after 6 years of pathetic mediocrity. The fat arrogant slob has his team playing well but will soon be 11-2 and Liberal Lawrence won't get a penny LOL.

oldgoof 10 years, 5 months ago

Yea, like I am going to be doing a lot of retail at Arrowhead. Ha.

Merchants in Lawrence, who have a captive market of students from less prosperous economic locations should shut their greedy pie-holes. The publisher too.

This game used to be played in KC, and somehow the City of Lawrence survived. I certainly don't know how, listening to the whining about this topic.

Haiku_Cuckoo 10 years, 5 months ago

Seems to me that arrowhead is in MO. some "HOME" GAME!!!!!!!!!!! I am sure they are wishing now that for the teams sake it would be in Lawrence! ============= Columbia, MO is 125 miles from KC. Lawrence, KS is 35 miles from KC. This game is hardly in Mizzou's territory.

I think the Arrowhead location is a great idea. It gives the Jayhawks the opportunity to play in a sold out NFL stadium; perhaps the only opportunity many of them will have. Plus, apart from the Red Lyon KU boycotters, the place will be filled with just as many (if not more) KU fans cheering them on.

ralphralph 10 years, 5 months ago

Money aside, this game ought to be played in a college town. The vast, paved expanses of A'head can't compare to Lawrence or Columbia.

Thats_messed_up 10 years, 5 months ago

"ll be saving on gas and not increasing my carbon footprint."


alerixon1 10 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

OnAir 10 years, 5 months ago

I think I will go Downtown and watch it on the parking garage wall. Sounds like a pretty cool idea.

Michael Throop 10 years, 5 months ago

hey,Kansas City IS a college town:UMKC, Avila,Rockhurst,Olivet Nazarene..

domino 10 years, 5 months ago

Think it is a little funny that all they crybabies are carrying on about the game being held in KC, yet when it is basketball time, how often has Kemper been referred to as "Allen Fieldhouse East" - if my geography is correct Kemper is in Missouri. It is a done deal - nothing will change it at this point, so cry me a river, build a bridge and get over it!

Haiku_Cuckoo 10 years, 5 months ago

This is what it is all about:

=============== Considering that he has nearly doubled the athletic budget in a few short years, I'd say he's worth every penny:

"In the fiscal year before Perkins came to KU, the athletic budget came out to $27 million, a number that has risen every year since. In fact, it's nearly doubled.

The budget for the 2007 fiscal year, for example, was $49,017,857. And in June, the budget saw another substantial bump - to $52,985,681 for 2008."

It's amazing that people STILL find a reason to whine despite the fact that KU has a solid budget, a great basketball team and an undefeated football team.

MattressMan 10 years, 5 months ago

I understand the merchants, one of the busiest shopping days of the year and the visitors coming into town for a game day will not be coming and the local shoppers will now be leaving. Would they have as much of a problem with it if it wasn't on this particular weekend? I don't remember this much noise when the OU game was moved a few years ago.

Understand the need for revenue by the athletic dept too, although now I have to wonder if they would rather the game be played here. With national spotlight of ESPN game day crew and ABC I kind of wonder whether the exposure for the University and potential recruits wouldn't be better on campus with them highlighting the new FB facility.

deskboy04 10 years, 5 months ago

Arrowhead is cool. They have more seats there so more people can see the game in person. They have plenty of parking. I am going to go out and eat after the game some BBQ. I can't wait until the basketball team plays in the new Sprint Center.

MattressMan 10 years, 5 months ago

Pilgrim (Anonymous) says: Thanksgiving weekend with all the students gone for the holiday? Are you kidding? For this particular time, Arrowhead is the perfect place for this game.

No, I,m not kidding are you? Thanksgiving weekend and the students camped out for days waiting for tickets to the game. If it was here in Lawrence does that mean they would'nt have stuck around to see it but since it's in KC they did?

Sigmund 10 years, 5 months ago

Who deserves the dollars more KU or Lawrence businesses? I think KU, at least till the university changes its name to The Lawrence Community College Jayhawks. And where are those dollars coming from? Kansas and Missouri football fans who will be paying to see the game.

Many more people will be able to see this game in person than if the game were held here in Lawrence or in Columbia. If the game were in Lawrence the economic impact would not be nearly as large (fewer seats, fewer people attending) and ticket prices much higher for those who did get tickets (fewer seats, higher prices). The economic benefit is larger and spread wider because more Kansas football fans will be able to go to the game in KC and they will be able to see it for less money.

So who benefits by having the game in KC? Kansas University, KU football, and Kansas football fans. Greedy Lawrence businesses should just quit their whining and grow up. It isn't alway about your bottom line!

del888 10 years, 5 months ago

what a bunch of whiners... I bought my KU season tickets knowing that I would be going to arrowhead. I also attend Free State games at Haskell, but I don't complain about that either. If you don't like going to Arrowhead, then stay home. There will be 80,000 people at that game who don't agree with you. You should be praising KU for a great season instead of whining.

DonnieDarko 10 years, 5 months ago

"Perhaps someday, loyalty, year-in and year-out support, and true mutual respect and help will mean something, but such thinking is lacking today among many at KU."

Come on, Dolph...let us in on the secret. Who at KU piddled on your shoes? By gawd, you're gonna show them! You're the editor of the all-powerful Urinal-World! WAAAAAHHHHHHH!

paavopetie 10 years, 5 months ago

Thanksgiving weekend with all the students gone for the holiday? Are you kidding? For this particular time, Arrowhead is the perfect place for this game.

Arrowhead is cool. They have more seats there so more people can see the game in person. They have plenty of parking.

I totally agree with these statements, especially because KU and MU are both top 5 teams right now. The athletic director saw this as a good investment for the football program, and as a result KU as a whole, which in turn will mean good things for Lawrence. The benefits may not be so tangible now, but they will come.

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